Yes, even as the world begins to open up (baby steps), we still need feel-good entertainment now more than ever.
Filmmaker Linda Palmer wrote, directed, and produced a movie that hits just the right note for 2020 with her inspirational film Turnover.
Turnover is a double entendre speaking to both the flakey, fruit-filled pastry as well as the management term most want to steer clear of in their business.
Paul Guilfoyle Plays Peter, a recently divorced cafe owner who works too much, holds his cards too close to the vest and is just running out of steam.
The joy has run out of his business. But that's hardly the end of his story.
Finally forced to take two weeks to himself, he leaves the cafe in the capable hands of his newly promoted cafe manager, Henry (Riker Lynch).
But being open with Henry wasn't Peter's strong point, and when Peter leaves, Henry comes face-to-face with Peter's ex, a bitter and demanding woman who pulls the rug out from under Henry.
As a result of his misunderstanding between Peter and his ex, Henry hires a new staff with minimal experience and attitude for miles believing they'll tank the cafe. Henry decides to plant his flag with a rival restauranteur, and walks out of the cafe, leaving the whole shebang in the hands of the new rag-tag bunch.
Palmer has made it her mission to create art with a socially conscious message of hope. With all of the energy that goes into her craft, she's decided to make her input into the creative community count. It's admirable.
Palmer's film notes say, "Although this story started as an exploration of the relationship some older people have with younger people in an effort to recapture the energy of their youth, the creation of the ‘misfit’ crew opened up doors to diversity, acceptance, inclusion, and family."
So it shouldn't be surprising that Henry's best-laid plans go horribly awry when the team he hires blossoms under the unexpected faith and responsibility to keep the cafe alive falls onto them.
Instead of getting angry at what Henry did in his absence, Peter embraces the group and his faith in them and his business explodes.
Everyone learns and accepts and grows surprising themselves, each other, and the community at large.
But all of the feel-good sentiments in the world can't make up for Palmer's small budget, and that lack of funding causes some unpleasantries.
Peter ran a successful cafe, successful enough to be thinking about franchises, but it was so stark as to be practically medicinal in appearance.
Julia Silverman was a good deal too young for her role of Gladys and donning a terrible grey wig only made it seem a bit farcical, and I don't believe that was the intent.
And there was a stunning misuse of Donna Mills who has aged so beautifully that I cannot help but wish someone would gather her and Nicolette Sheridan for a Knots Landing reboot.
Finally, in a story about the nurturing atmosphere of a community cafe and the talk about food and recipes, the use of food was criminally absent.
I assume it was budgetary, but I felt it. Food is as comforting as relationships, and both got skimped on a little.
But the intent of Turnover was genuine, and although there were some missteps, it doesn't make the movie uninspiring.
Positivity is alluring, and the audience is feeling the love with Turnover. Matching that sentiment is even more good news: Turnover gives 5% of net profits back to the National Down Syndrome Society and ARC of North Hollywood.
In addition to those mentioned above, other cast members include Carlos Carrasco, Adwin Brown, Isabella Blake-Thomas, Blair Williamson, Jamie Brewer, Katharine ‘Kat’ Kramer, Elina Madison, Daniel Hoffman, Beverly Todd, and Ellen Gerstein.
Now available on Amazon Prime, you're sure to find something to love with this cheerful, uplifting film.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.